The only big meal I cooked for Chinese New Year

I think every families should have an aunt somewhere who not only likes to cook, she likes to do a ‘one leg kick all show’. One of the gatherings my family have was at my eldest sister’s home. She lives in a semi-detached home so there is plenty of space to house all of us. I told her to just cook a pot of white rice and I will take care of the rest.

chinese new year

I gave a very conservative estimate to the amount of foods to prepare because most of them are above 50s or they are kids like mine who don’t appreciate fancy seafoods or expensive ‘fortune rhyming’ dishes. Anyway, it is not very costly so it won’t burn a hole in my poor pocket, lor.

I cooked all the dishes at home, in the comfort of my kitchen.  My eldest son helped a lot or else, I won’t be able to do so within such a short time.   So, what I dished out were tomyam fried beehoon which is a welcoming change to the oily, rich,  traditional Chinese New foods we had on CNY eve and CNY first day.  I also cooked a pot of curry chicken with two chicken.  The curry is mostly garam masala, spices and lots of onion to thicken the gravy.

stir fried lor pak kou

I steamed two huge plate of lor pak kou or white radish cake. Initially, I wanted to just deep fry the steamed cakes and eaten as snacks. However, I experimented at home the other method of frying it like char koay teow. I love the end results so I fry the lor pak kou at my sister’s place. I used chai por ( a kind of saltish preserved vegetables), prawns, eggs, lots of garlic, cili boh and put lots of taugeh. It was yummy. The one above was my experimental dish at home which used only cabbage. I had to scour the Batu Lancang market to finally find a stall selling taugeh on the 2nd day of CNY. Hahahaha, so desperate likedat.

chicken pie

To please the tastebuds of the younger generations, I baked two large chicken pie. The chicken pieces were flavoured with fresh herbs and I used fresh button mushrooms, steamed potatoes and hardboiled eggs. My son who assembled the pies for me was very generous with the parmesan, cheddar and mozarella cheeses, making it a very cheezy pie. Photo was before the crusts were put on top of the pie.

fried spring rolls

I made a very simple spring rolls fillings using only turnips and carrots. Then, I tear some of those crabsticks or kanikama to flavour it. As I cannot find anyone selling soya bean cake or tau kua, I made some egg omelet and slice them finely and use as fillings.


Upon reaching my sister’s home, we found that the spring rolls have turned limp. So, eldest sis gave them a quick fry again. The 50 spring rolls were quickly walloped. I should have made 100 spring rolls but we didn’t have much time eventhough my third son who is 12 years old was already helping to roll them. LOL, the spring rolls come in all kind of shapes, fat and short, thin and long, senget and koyak, perfect ones, macam-macam ada. But it is tasty anyway.


Both my two elder sisters only have their sons and wives with them. The daughters were still in ‘gua keh’ (the in-laws place). Otherwise, there are even more people. Even that, the kitchen was filled to the max.

Overall, it was a good meal with red bean soup as thong sui. There was lots of booze and fruits to end the gathering as well.

Meanwhile, my own in-laws gathering wasn’t so lucky. I had volunteered to cook for them on the 1st day of Chinese New Year but unfortunately, my eldest sister-in-law was hospitalised. Now, they plan to come to my house for a makan on Sunday but I am attending the Malaysiakini sponsored Citizen Journalism course on Saturday and Sunday from 9-5 pm. It is a serious course spread out till March 09. So, I have to decline because I am normally exhausted after two days of intense thinking, brain-stroming and writing exercise. The last thing I want is to worry what to cook. Cooking is not the hard part. Marketing and getting all the stuffs are the tiring part because the markets are still packed and prices of foods are still ridiculous high.

So, how was your Chinese New Year eating adventure?

12 Replies to “The only big meal I cooked for Chinese New Year”

  1. The spring rolls look nice, Lillian. Your 12 year old is very professional doing them. You look good also. Hair perfectly blown up and all. You don’t look like someone who has been working in the kitchen to prepare the big meal. So fresh 😀

  2. Sheryl – I already pom-pom, make-up nicely liao, or else the oil on the face! Hahaha.

    Momo – Some cheap, but very comfy and cooling blouse from Nichii.

    Ah Shui – I love cooking for big groups and wish I have all the utensils and space to do that. Right now, I am only limited by the size of my wok.

  3. That’s quite a good spread you had cooked up Lilian. Anyway, I hope you had a great Chinese New Year. 🙂

    By the way, I read that you had used some fresh button mushrooms for the pie. I have been hunting all over to get some but with any avail. Care to share where you got them? Thanks. 🙂

  4. dear lilian, i wish i had you for a sister in law. reading yr post i thought it was wonderful of you to prepare a meal for so many people. yes , you are one of the people i should emulate as my new year’s resolution.
    i dread cny every year because its filled with unpleasant ness from calculative people. but after reading yr post it seems so effortless – preparing for so many people! maybe you can write a article – dummy’s guide to preparing cny reunion dinner in a day.

    once again …thank you for brightening our days with yr blogs.

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